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Silencing Rachel Corrie

Excellent speech given by Elizabeth Corrie, Rachel Corrie's cousin, at a forum in Atlanta held on September 22.
IMC
Elizabeth Corrie's remarks from "Silencing Dissent in the Age of the Patriot Act".

Good afternoon. I've been asked to open up today's theme by talking about a particular case that involves on many levels the "silencing" - or perhaps in this case it would be more accurate to say the "crushing" - of dissent. This is a case in which I am intimately caught up, in which my entire family is caught up. This is the case of Rachel Corrie.
Rachel Corrie was 23 years old when she traveled to the Gaza Strip, to the village of Rafah, last spring, to join the International Solidarity Movement, a nonviolent, Palestinian-led human rights activist organization. Rachel joined volunteers from around the world - "internationals" as they called themselves - in the project of documenting and preventing human rights abuses in the Occupied Territories by the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Forces. Such human rights abuses include the wholesale demolition of Palestinian homes, curfews, roadblocks and checkpoints, the destruction of the Palestinian Authority's infrastructure, and, of course, the construction of this so called "security fence," a wall of barbed wire and concrete, in some cases 20 feet high, that is steadily snaking and curling its way through the West Bank, well outside the 1967 Green Line in several places, threatening to separate Palestinian villages from each other and create several "ghettos" of walled-in Palestinians surrounded on all sides by Israeli forces and settlers.

Rachel went to Rafah to help the rest of the world see what has been and is still going on the Occupied Territories - activities that are illegal according to international law and unconscionable according to moral law. She believed that, through her frequent communication with her friends and family in the United States and with the contacts she had made with peace and human rights organizations around her hometown of Olympia, Washington, she would be able to be what Martin Luther King called "a voice for the voiceless." She would make ordinary people in America aware of the human rights abuses in Palestine and, through awareness, encourage us to raise our voices in dissent. She herself would voice her dissent in her own way - by physically standing up to the IDF and saying: "No. I do not agree with what you are doing here. What you are doing is wrong, and I will stand here and remind you of that fact until you back down." In addition to voicing dissent, she embodied dissent. And, because her dissent came in the form of her body, the silencing of her dissent came in the form of the crushing of her body.

I would like to tell you a little bit about what happened on March 16th, 2003. I have taken this description from the eyewitness reports of ISM activists. "On Sunday, March 16th, Rachel and her fellow ISM volunteers were confronting the drivers of two bulldozers who were in the process of razing Palestinian civilian land and homes. For two hours Rachel and other ISM activists followed the bulldozers, trying to block their passage and hamper their efforts at destruction. Rachel was clearly identifiable in a bright fluorescent orange jacket and was speaking through a bullhorn." While the bulldozer was still at least 10 meters away, Rachel sat down, a common practice used to signify her intent to remain in place. As the bulldozer came closer however, she got up and climbed onto a mound of dirt and rubble, in order to look the bulldozer driver in the eye. The driver continued to advance, and at some point Rachel fell under the weight of the dirt and rubble heaped on top of her. The driver ran over her, and then proceeded to back up, running over her a second time without lifting up the blade of the bulldozer, which scraped across her body and left a deep gash in her face. This 9-ton Caterpillar bulldozer - manufactured in the US and paid for by US tax dollars - crushed Rachel Corrie's body completely, and she died from multiple fractures and internal bleeding shortly thereafter.

Photographs taken at the scene and eyewitness reports make it nearly impossible to believe that the bulldozer failed to see her. Yet, the IDF has maintained that the driver did not see her, and has called her death "a regrettable incident."

This so-called "regrettable incident" is, however, but one example of the ways in which the dissent of international human rights activists has been silenced. Shortly after Rachel's murder, two more ISM activists were attacked and severely injured. On April 5th, Brian Avery, a 24 year old from Albuquerque, was shot from an armored personal carrier from a distance of about 50 meters, and his left cheek was almost completely shot off. On April 11th, Tom Hurndall, a 21 year old from London, was shot in the back of the head while attempting to pull some Palestinian children from out of the range of gunfire. He now lies in a coma, brain dead, in England. There was no investigation of either of these incidents. Since these events, the International Solidarity Movement and other human rights groups have come under attack. On May 9th, nearly twenty military vehicles surrounded the ISM media office, seized computers and video equipment, pillaged files and photos, broke equipment and damaged office space. Activists were then arrested and deported, and Israel established new policies designed to restrict the activities of internationals and to absolve the IDF from any responsibility for their safety, including a requirement for foreigners entering Gaza to sign a statement relinquishing Israel from any responsibility in the case of injury or death. In other words, human rights activists have been attacked, harassed, and expelled from the area to prevent them from seeing and reporting on the horror of what is really going on in the Occupied Territories. In other words, their dissent has been silenced by their forcible removal.

So, we have seen dissent silenced in the form of murdering, attacking and deporting human rights activists. But the case of Rachel Corrie is a case of multiple levels of silencing.

Dissent has also been silenced in the case of Rachel Corrie because her death has never properly been investigated.

According to Rachel's parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie, the US State Department notified them several months ago that the Israeli Military Police had completed their investigation, that no charges would be brought, that the case was closed and that Israel declined to release a report to the United States government - this in spite of the fact that President Bush had reportedly gained assurances from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that the US government would indeed receive this report. With some pressure from the US government, Israel has now permitted a few US officials, as well as Rachel's parents to read the report and take notes. However, no one has been allowed actually to study the report, and the Corries were given only 3 hours to read the 21 page report and take hand written notes, thereafter giving the report back. This military report is by no means a proper, much less an independent investigation into the events on March 16th. It does not include actual evidence, but only summarizes evidence. Photographs taken at the scene, documents of radio transmissions, and pertinent video footage are not presented, and eyewitness reports are merely summarized in synopsis form. The Israeli government, and many US politicians, have used this report as a basis for claiming that an investigation has taken place without ever making the report available for anyone to use as a basis for asking questions or seeking clarification. The case has been declared closed, and, it seems, many US politicians, in response to the numerous letters of constituents demanding an independent investigation, have taken the Israeli government's word on this unquestioningly and have insisted that justice has been done. Justice has NOT been done. There is no credible public record of what happened that day, no possibility to seek further information beyond the scattered accounts we read on the Internet. Justice has most certainly NOT been done - a woman lies dead and no one will accept responsibility - let alone remorse - for her death. Along with the silencing of Rachel through the crushing of her body, the silencing of all the eyewitnesses that were there that day, has occurred through the closing of this case and the refusal on the part of the Bush administration to pursue an independent investigation into the death of a US citizen. All possible dissent that could rightfully come from the public record of what happened that day has been silenced - pre-emptively - without this investigation.

And this lack of public record has fostered yet another form of silencing dissent. In the absence of any official account, right wing talk radio and Christian and Jewish Zionist groups have been allowed to fabricate and perpetuate all kinds of lies about Rachel, her work and the events of that day. She has been labeled a terrorist sympathizer, an anti-Semite, an anti-American, and a silly naοve girl who stumbled into a place where she didn't belong. Those threatened by the witness to Israeli Occupation that her death has provided have mercilessly torn apart her character and memory, and have not spared the feelings of those in grief, sending their hate-filled letters, gleefully celebrating her death, directly to the family. What is perhaps the unkindest cut of all, however, has been from progressive publications such as Mother Jones, who in this month's issue declared that Rachel "herself has fallen into obscurity, a subject of debate in Internet chat rooms and practically nowhere else," and that "the larger message of her life appears to be one of futility." The thousands of people in the United States and around the world who have broken through the propaganda of the mainstream media, and the millions of Palestinian people who lift her up as the first American martyr to the cause of Palestinian freedom and dignity, understand the significance of Rachel's life, work and death and do not consider her life futile, nor have they let her death fall into obscurity. Daily, my family receives emails from around the world, stories from people who had to write to total strangers just to testify to the depth of impact Rachel has had on their lives. There are baby girls who now bear Rachel's name. There are peace centers and awards and scholarships and poems and songs popping up all over the world dedicated to her memory and to the symbol of peace she represents.

And yet, Joshua Hammer can claim in Mother Jones that Rachel has fallen into obscurity. How? Very easily, because the third way in which the case of Rachel Corrie represents the silencing of dissent is the fact that the media is unapologetically biased against anyone who would raise criticism of the State of Israel. All of us who are activists and who have tried to create public conversations about controversial issues that go against governmental and corporate interests know this to be true on a certain level, but my family is a daily and living witness to this. Let me give just one example. Back in April, when there was still some public discussion in certain quarters about Rachel's death, the Des Moines Register published a letter in which the author described Rachel as a well-meaning but misguided fool who suffered the tragic consequences of entering into something she should not have. Our 89 year old grandmother, who has lived her entire life in Des Moines, an active and responsible citizen, the wife of a WWII veteran and the mother of a Vietnam veteran, a life-long voting republican, wrote the Des Moines Register a letter, clarifying this misconception about Rachel as Rachel's grandmother - someone who obviously knew her well. The paper refused to print it. A few days later, another letter was published, again criticizing Rachel for her actions and more or less blaming her for her own death. Mrs. Corrie re-sent her original letter with a cover letter insisting that that her voice be heard - two letters published on one side, with nothing to represent the other side. She reminded the editors that she has been an active, responsible member of the community for nearly 90 years and had a right to be heard. Still they did not publish her letter. A few weeks later one reporter finally came to Mrs. Corrie's house and interviewed her, publishing a very good and fair article. However, this reporter was immediately attacked for her anti-Jewish stance.

In the vacuum that a lack of balanced reporting has created, lies about Rachel, ISM and the situation of the Palestinians continue to be perpetuated. That is, when anything is said at all. If, as Joshua Hammer claims, Rachel has fallen into obscurity, it has only done so within the consciousness of people who allow themselves to be trapped inside a world of falsities created by biased, irresponsible reporting. Lack of COVERAGE of an issue, as we all here know, does not mean lack of INTEREST in an issue. And the blanket summation of false friends such as Mother Jones magazine only serves to create what Noam Chomsky calls the "manufacture of consent" that Rachel's life and death is futile, despite the weekly vigils in her memory, despite the building of houses and peace centers in her name, despite the establishment of scholarships and awards for peace in her name, despite the composition of songs, poems, plays, documentaries, cantatas, and books in her name, and despite the worldwide call for peace and justice in her name. If the media continually blocks out any discussion of the significance of Rachel Corrie, if, when it does talk about her it dismisses her as foolish or futile, then sooner or later the world-wide impact that her life, work and death has had will become silenced. If we are told enough times that Rachel Corrie doesn't matter, then sooner or later many of us are going to believe it.

THIS is the silencing of dissent. This is the silencing of a "voice for the voiceless" and the silencing of all those who would join with this voice in calling for justice. This is the case of Rachel Corrie.

www.rachelcorrie.org/

Ms Corrie 26.Sep.2003 22:20

unsurprised

The level of interest and commentary generated here is really Corrie's legacy. It would seem most recognize the value of her efforts.

indeed, it is better to watch television. 27.Sep.2003 22:17

madame lafarge

Nothing is important enough to risk one's lfe for. We must party!

Something fishy in all this 20.Nov.2003 06:28

Sceptic

Wouldnt be interesting if the death of Rachel Corrie was a completely made up media circus? I mean seriously, perhaps the reason that the Israeli army report didnt include any photos of the incident was because it never happened.

Stranger things have happened.

When will people learn? 22.Nov.2003 11:54

Alliance for Truth

People like sceptic make me nauseous. The truth is so plain--there are hundreds of websites on this issue--and these people cram their fingers in their ears and shut it out. There is no doubt that Rachel Corrie was murdered by the Israeli Army. In fact, the IDF even had the cowardice to break up her funeral with tear gas. This fact was reported in the Guardian, one of Britain's most prestigious news agencies.

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,917178,00.html

Rachel Corrie was a courageous, intelligent and beautiful 23-year-old woman from Olympia, Washington. A student at Evergreen College, she would have graduated in the Spring.

On March 16, 2003, an Israeli bulldozer operator intentionally crushed her to death.

And so Rachel Corrie graduated, with the highest honors, from the hardest school of all, life in this suffering world.

The Israeli was driving one of the giant, 60-ton, armored D-9 bulldozers which are made by Caterpillar, the well-known American company — and paid for by your tax dollars, if you're an American. Rachel was trying to stop him from demolishing the home of an innocent Palestinian man, a doctor, who never did anything to harm Israelis. But that fact is irrelevant to Israelis and their evil supporters in America. Reality is irrelevant to racist Israelis and racist Jewish-American Zionists.

Psychopathic Zionists have used these American-made, American-financed bulldozers to demolish countless Palestinian homes, sometimes crushing people to death, just like they did to Rachel Corrie. Drunken Israeli bulldozer operators like Moshe Nissim crushed many Palestinian people to death during the Jenin massacre. Two weeks before Rachel's murder, an Israeli bulldozer operator crushed a 33-year-old Palestinian mother to death in her house. Nuha Sweidan was nine-months pregnant, and she bled to death under the rubble as she cradled her 18-month-old daughter. Her unborn baby also died.

Horrors such as these are absolutely routine for Israelis. Most Israelis have become so callous and inhuman that they think nothing of shooting children and crushing young mothers to death. It's all in a day's work for Israelis.

And it all goes unreported in America's mass-media — because America's mass-media is Jewish-owned and Jewish-controlled.

For those who are conditioned like Pavlov's dogs to think that any mention of Jewish media domination is "anti-Semitic", consider the following statement from a decent and courageous Jewish man who has long spoken out against Israeli state terrorism:

"There are no important media outlets in the U.S. that are not owned or controlled by Jews."

— Israel Shamir
Russian-Israeli journalist
in his article "Midas Ears"

It is because of the unending horrors of Israeli state terrorism that Rachel Corrie was a peace activist with the International Solidarity Movement, trying to stop the demolitions. She and her equally courageous fellow activists from Britain and America used themselves as human shields not only to block house demolitions, but to stop the cruel Israelis from destroying Palestinian water wells.

Rachel and her group made friends with the beautiful Palestinian people in the refugee town of Rafah, in occupied Gaza. Out of real love and admiration for these people, moved by the courage shown even by Palestinian children, the young Americans and Brits were inspired to be courageous themselves. Seeing the Palestinians' humanity and their determination to survive in the face of endless cruelties and horrors at the hands of homicidal Israelis, Rachel and her fellow peace activists risked their lives many times to protect their friends. They were risking their lives yet again on the day Rachel was brutally murdered.

There were two D-9 bulldozers, one marked with the number 94, serial number 949623, the other marked 95, serial number 949645. The Israeli bulldozer operators were in radio communication with a nearby Israeli tank, and all three were in radio communication with their superiors in the vicious Israeli military. The tank had earlier fired shots into the ground in the direction of Rachel and her friends in an attempt to frighten them away. It didn't work. Rachel Corrie and her fellow peace activists from the International Solidarity Movement had the courage of combat veterans, and they kept trying to block the massive bulldozers. Their courage and tenacity no doubt embarrassed and angered the cowardly, bullying Israelis.

There is also no doubt that the Israeli bulldozer operator was authorized by radio to run over the American woman — while pretending it was an accident — in order to send a message to all other peace activists.

As Henry Michaels of the World Socialist Web Site writes:

"Two conclusions are inescapable from the evidence produced so far. The first is that Rachel Corrie's killing was a premeditated act approved by the upper echelons of the Israeli regime — the culmination of a series of confrontations in recent months with International Solidarity Movement (ISM) "human shields." The second is that the US government is complicit, having rejected repeated requests to intervene on behalf of the volunteers. ... It is inconceivable that an individual Israeli soldier would commit such a crime without prior discussion and approval at the highest official levels, military and civilian."

The confrontation on March 16th had been going on for two hours. Rachel and the other volunteers had clearly identified themselves as unarmed international peace activists during that whole time. Rachel was wearing a florescent orange-red jacket for unmistakable visibility, as well as using a megaphone to try and communicate with the inhuman Israeli bulldozer operator. She was easily visible to him at all times, there is no question that he purposely ran over her, twice, with intent to murder her. (See photos below.)

The Israeli was approaching the house to demolish it, when Rachel sat down on the ground to block him. He kept coming toward her, digging up earth with the massive bulldozer blade. Yet with a will and spirit much stronger than the evil Israeli hiding in his armored bulldozer, Rachel refused to budge. When the blade pushing the pile of dirt reached her she began to stand up to climb up on the dirt, until she was high enough to be eye-level with the cab of the bulldozer, right in front of the Israeli coward, as visible as she could be. As he continued forward she began to slip down into the moving dirt and get stuck in it as her friends screamed frantically for him to stop. He ignored them and continued moving forward as Rachel sank further, until the Israeli pushed the dirt right over her and buried her while scraping the massive blade over her. He then stopped his bulldozer while she was underneath it, put it in reverse, and kept the steel blade down on the ground as he backed up and dragged it over her a second time.

It was intentional, pre-meditated, cold-blooded murder.

As the Israeli backed his killing-machine away, Rachel's friends ran to her and dug her out of the dirt. For a short time she was still conscious, gasping for air with blood flowing from a gash on her face, but her body was badly crushed and her skull fractured. They called for a Palestinian ambulance and it arrived quickly. And this time the Israelis didn't shoot at the ambulance, as they usually do.

If Rachel Corrie had been a Palestinian woman, Israeli soldiers and snipers would have shot her, her friends, the ambulance driver and anyone else who tried to rescue her. Israeli soldiers are Jewish Nazis, and they have done this countless times before. Because Rachel was an American, however, and the Israeli government wanted it to look like an accident, the ever-present snipers were ordered to hold their fire. This allowed the Palestinians to rush her to Al-Najjar hospital in Rafah. But her fragile body was so badly broken, with skull and chest fractures and internal hemorrhaging, that the doctors could not save her.

Her physical body died, but her eternal spirit lives right now.

Afterwards, when her Palestinian friends gathered to mourn her death, sadistic Israeli snipers opened fire on the crowd, murdering one of them. No Westerners were there to be witnesses, so it was back to standard operating procedure for the Israeli Nazis.

They murdered the physical body of yet another innocent Palestinian person, but that person's eternal spirit lives now too.

And every time the bestial Israelis murder the body of another Palestinian child, or mother or father, they succeed only in making the Palestinian people stronger and more human, while the idiot Israelis — and their Zionist supporters in America — degrade their own souls and become yet more inhuman. They've murdered and tortured so many people now, for so many years, that a great many Israelis are as cruel, evil, heartless and soulless as it's possible to be. They're completely inhuman monsters toward helpless Palestinian people. They are sadistic Jewish Nazis. They are the very thing they condemn the most vehemently. The bestial hypocrites.

Israelis are perfect idiots. What do they think they're going to accomplish with all their brutality? Peace for themselves? Their stupidity would be laughable if their cruelty and violence weren't so nauseating. Do they actually think they can create a paradise in Palestine for themselves through the bloodshed, mass-murder and torture of others? It'll never happen. The Israelis will never live in peace. Never. They've created nothing but a hell for themselves, as well as for the Palestinians. But the Israelis, through their evil, have created a dark hell inside themselves as well. That is the worst hell of all. The deepest and longest lasting.

Zionists are morally insane and mentally delusional, and therefore it's just a matter of time before their madness manifests in the physical world in the form of their total destruction. Just a matter of time. "Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad," said the ancient Greeks. As Israel Shamir has written, the State of Israel is already dead. It has no soul. It's nothing but a monstrous national zombie, a soulless killing machine, living off massive infusions of cash from American taxpayers like a drug addict lives off drugs.

And as the singer Neil Young has said, every junkie is a setting sun.

Meanwhile, through the crucible of their terrible suffering, the majority of Palestinian people are forging greater inner strength and greater, more beautiful humanity. These are the beautiful qualities that Rachel Corrie loved. As a courageous and decent person herself, she resonated with those qualities in others. In the end the Palestinians will win peace for themselves, inside and outside.

In spite of the danger of Israeli snipers, Rachel's Palestinian friends risked their lives again to honor her with a formal, public memorial. 1,000 Palestinian people marched through the Rafah refugee town holding a stretcher draped with an American flag to symbolize their American friend. Palestinian farmer Hassan Abu Toa'ma said: "We fly a U.S. flag today to show our support to all American peace lovers — those like Rachel."

In Gaza City, dozens of Palestinians and foreign activists held a vigil, holding banners saying: "Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is a war criminal." The Palestinian children Rachel loved during her stay in Rafah filed past her body at the local morgue and said their goodbyes. Death is a very common sight for Palestinian children, but you can never get used to the death of your friends.

At U.N. headquarters in Gaza City, 200 Palestinian people and their foreign friends held another memorial service. Four Palestinian girls placed flowers and a picture of Rachel on an empty coffin, and the mourners observed a moment of silence.

That empty coffin is a good symbol. Only the body, like an empty shell, is dead. Rachel Corrie is not dead. Her soul is alive, and now she's free.

Sceptic or intended blindness 24.Nov.2003 02:53

NOT Sceptic

I live in Israel .. and I have seen the critical part (20 min.) of the IDF's military video of the tragic incident, and how the forces reacted to the situation at hand.

for Mr. "Sceptic"

1. The D9 had two drivers in it, a tank was some distance from it.. but the whole site was monitored far off by an observations post that had filmed the seen during the whole process.. and recorded the communications between the soldiers with in the D9 and the tank.

2. The D9 drivers did not speak english, and did not understand the banners Rachel Corrie was carrying in front of them nor did they understand what what she was screaming at them, they were pissed off by her .. delaying their job and.

3. The moment of the tragedy shows a determination in getting the job done by all cost .. and right now !

4. The moment after the tragedy shows for my utter astonishment the poor (continues) judgment of who was in command and leaving Rachel Corrie badly injured and not offering medical help by the IDF.. something which doesn't corollate with IDF's combat code.


for Mr. "Sceptic"

Being sceptic is very good, even smart .. but if your scepticism has any form of intent .. then your way of doing is like those that are sceptic of German doings more than 50 years ago !

a friend 01.Dec.2003 18:02

abdul wajid ibrahim x submit2the1@hotmail.com

i converted to islam three weeks before sept 11 2001,i submit to the one god of all creation, i stand against all oppressors,racists,facists,and tyrants,i do not fear nothing except god,(inshallah)god willing i will stand and shout and fight against the bullies of the world,and if they want to call me a terrorist and run over me with a tank or bulldozer,then inshallah if this my destiny then so be it, i welcome it.
But please god,let me die with the courage of my sister rachel corrie, i did not know her until she joined you in the garden,so please keep me on the straight path so i can meet with my holy sister in heaven,so i can give her my sallam(peace)inshallah.

PEACE LOVE RESPECT TO ALL RACHEL'S FAMILY


Rachel's example 21.Jan.2004 16:53

Yaotl jaled@latinmail.com

When I read and heard on Rachel's killing I immediately referenced to Bertolt Brecht. Yes, Brecht said that the good fellows use to fight some days, the best ones use to fight for years but the indispenable ones fight for ever,so, Rachel IS an indispensable and essential icon. She gave her life for peace and just very few people can do that kind of struggle. Peace is possible but before, zionism must be stopped. Anti-semitism has now a political and imperialistic use and we have to stop that too.


Rachel Corrie 27.Feb.2004 12:56

Anna annamariaroy@yahoo.com

March 16th will be the one year anniversary of Rachel Corrie's murder. Just like Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rachel was killed by ignorace and hate. I feel that there should be a national holiday to remember Rachel Corrie by. H.Con Res 111 should be passed by our government, which calls for an independent investigation into her death. Most people in the United States do not understand her sacrifice or her courage. And those who do not, I feel sorry for. People who criticize Rachel know deep inside that they are wrong, they just don't want to address those feelings within themselves. We were lucky to have Rachel here with us, if only for 23 years. How dare people criticize the death of someone, by a bulldozer. Where is our humanity? She was crushed by a bulldozer. Whether or not we agree that it was done purposefully or by accident, we should still feel compassion, empathy and humanity for this fellow human being. Whether or not you agree with what Rachel did, shouldn't you in the very least have humanity and sympathy for her. Were it an accident, should you not in the very least express sadness? Are we so jaded and numb that we cannot even feel anymore? I am ashamed at this. When people were killed in China during Tiannamen Square in 1989 by tanks the world cried out, injustice. But because Rachel was on the side of the underdog, on the side of the oppressed, on the mainstream "politically-incorrect" side, people, including the government and the media have no compassion for this fellow American. Are we really free? Rachel was, and is. She was the truth, embodied as a person and we are afraid to admit that to ourselves. peace.


just a simple quote 15.Mar.2004 16:26

NOT Sceptic

Taibeh Raid - March 3, 2000

 http://www.isayeret.com/operations/taibeh.htm

"..At that time, it was decided to bring in an armored IDF Caterpillar D9 bulldozer to destroy the house, burying the terrorists alive in the ruins - a standard operating procedure .."

Two years have passed, still no justice 10.Mar.2005 20:47

Dean snorkelbach@riseup.net

I write this six days before the second anniversary of the killing of Rachel, the stigma that surrounds her death and the campaign of misunderstanding that many people have propagated to down play her sacrifice for solidarity have not tarnished our memory of her. When remembering the sacrifice that Rachel, Tom Hurndull, Brian Avery, and countless other Palestinians have paid for peace and justice in the Occupied Territories, we have to remember that love is the reason. Love and a quest for understanding propelled these normal dedicated people into the face of danger. Selflessness is so rare in a time of war and easy to forget, when the drumbeats of conformity and fear are incessantly luring us to forget others, some think of others. Rachel stood in the face of an immoral illegal force and said "no', no, I can not be complacent, no, not with American machinery, no, not in my countries name, no, peace brings stability. For this committed selfless act she was whisked of this Earth. But, Rachel is not gone. She lives inside everyone who is courageous, everyone who wants peace, Rachel's spirit and strength lead many of us through the dark and confusing times when we think that there is nothing we can do.
However, justice for Rachel and her family has not yet been served. Hrc 111 as mentioned in a comment above did not get voted on last year, and is no longer on the floor. The State department in their 2004 human rights report reported that the Corrie's were not satisfied with the investigation done by the Israeli Defense Force after Rachel's death. The U.S. has never taken a proactive role in pursuing the truth into what happened that day, even though it is an implicit role of the State department to do so. Rachel deserves better, the Corrie's deserve better, we deserve better.
If we should do one thing in remembering Rachel, we should remember that she went to where the conflict was and stood with the nameless, the faceless, and the forgotten. Rachel gave voice to the voiceless and invoked an understanding that was remarkable. I never knew her but I love her, and I thank her.